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The 2024 NFL Draft is looming large, and one of the most scrutinized positions every year is the quarterback. The growth in popularity for Dynasty Superflex leagues has only increased the desire to pin down accurate career projections. This year’s class is particularly intriguing amongst the top 6, with a mix of talent, potential, and questions surrounding each prospect. Let’s dive into the top quarterbacks of the class and their projected impact at the next level.


1. Caleb Williams: The Natural Talent




Standing tall at 6’1″ and weighing in at 214 pounds, Caleb Williams boasts an impressive skill set. With a flick of his strong arm, he can make every throw on the field, earning him comparisons to NFL great Aaron Rodgers with his style of play. 


Despite facing criticism for trying to do too much on the field, Williams’ talent shines through, especially considering the lack of premier talent around him in college. Take a look at 2022, when he had one 1st round caliber wide receiver. He lit the college world on fire with 42 passing touchdowns, over 4,500 passing yards, and won the Heisman Trophy. In 2023 it’s questionable if his top target, Brenden Rice, will be drafted by day 2. USC’s defense forced Williams into weekly shootouts. The offensive line play was subpar creating several situations a week where Williams had to be special to execute simple plays. Yet in some metric measures like yards per attempt, completion percentage, and QB rate were all higher in 2023.


His ability to thrive under pressure and make plays off-platform sets him apart as the best QB talent of the class.


Fantasy Potential 


High-end passer ability with above average scrambling ability provides the combination for a high fantasy ceiling. In this case we know the landing spot is with Chicago. Who through the off-season have been aggressively adding weapons to the skill positions. Trading for Keenan Allen to pair with DJ Moore, adding D’Andre Swift to an already young backfield, and supplementing Cole Kmet with vet Gerald Everett. Don’t forget pass-first west coast offensive coordinator Shane Waldron. 


It’s all setup for Caleb Williams to have top 12 potential in his first year. 

2. Drake Maye: The Franchise Quarterback




At 6’4″ and 223 pounds, Drake Maye possesses the size and skills to excel at the next level. While his arm may not be elite, his ability to navigate through reads and excel in a spread-out offense makes him a promising prospect. 


Despite facing similar challenges as Williams with a lackluster supporting cast. Maye’s performance metrics according to PFF, include a high adjusted completion rate (75.1% T-39th), and deep yards (1452 2nd). Highlighting his potential to be a franchise quarterback like my play style comparison of Justin Herbert.


Fantasy Potential 


After Williams we can debate and guess where the rest of this group will land. In Maye’s case it would be shocking if it was outside the top 3. 

The difference between 2, Commanders as of now, and 3, the Patriots current day, could make all the difference in the world. 


Drake Maye seems to be the perfect style quarterback for the college friendly spread system Kliff Kingsbury is known for running. Terry McLaurin, Jahan Dotson, Austin Ekeler, and Brian Robinson already in place offer a strong supporting cast. 


If New England is the destination, then Maye will have a difficult path. Journeymen veteran wide receivers and run-first OC Scott Van Pelt doesn’t possess the same natural productive boost. The best weapons would be the pass catching backs on dump-offs in Antonio Gibson and Rhamondre Stevenson. 


Drake Maye sports a strong fantasy floor regardless stemming from his dual ability. Over 1,000 yards and 16 rushing touchdowns in the past 2 seasons combined. 


3. Michael Penix Jr: The NFL-Ready Playmaker




Michael Penix Jr. brings NFL-ready talent to the table. With smooth arm mechanics and the ability to make tight-window throws, Penix Jr. stands out as a top prospect. His quick decision-making under pressure, (2.71s. 2nd best amongst the top 6 QBs), and low pressure-to-sack ratio, (8% pressure-to-sack in 2023), demonstrate his readiness for the next level.


 However, there should be concerns about his performance when throwing off-platform. On tape he displayed the tendency to float passes high off the mark when unable to properly reset his feet on the move.


His injury history raises some questions, but it should be noted that his ACL injuries have now been two years removed. Penix’s pocket passing style of play should further minimize his exposure to unnecessary hits. Ultimately, if the team doctors’ assessment is positive, the injury factor should be considered at a minimum. 


Penix’s ability to stand in the pocket and consistently deliver throws outside the numbers is reminiscent of Kirk Cousins. 


Fantasy Potential 


Michael Penix Jr. not being considered a top 10 NFL draft pick by the media could play to his long term NFL success and immediate fantasy impact. As long as he doesn’t fall too far. 


Teams like the Seahawks, Vikings, and Broncos, all currently drafting outside of the top 10, have strong supporting casts presently in place for any young quarterback to succeed. Seattle is particularly intriguing for Penix since having hired his collegiate offensive coordinator Ryan Grubb. Destinations such as these that offer strong offensive minded play-callers and multiple quality skill players would provide Penix his optimal potential. Where numbers over the 4,000 passing yards and 30 passing touchdown thresholds would be achievable imminently. 


Penix faces a wide range of outcomes if he is unfortunate in his landing spot too. A lack of projected rushing production at the next level limits his pathway to fantasy relevance. It’s why pure pocket passing quarterbacks are amongst the most volatile for fantasy purposes as they are more greatly affected by the supporting cast around them. So the age-old “landing spot dependent” phrase becomes applicable to Penix like so many others. 


4. Jayden Daniels: The Raw Talent




Jayden Daniels possesses raw talent with a live arm and dual-threat capabilities. However, his tendency to take unnecessary risks as a runner and struggles with progressing through reads raise concerns about his long-term viability. Despite a significant jump in production during his senior year, questions linger about whether it was due to personal development or superior talent around him. 


Daniels’ performance under pressure as a 5th year senior raises red flags. He sported a damning 20.2% pressure to sack ratio in 2023 according to PFF. Whilst also ranking in the bottom tier of quarterbacks in average time to throw. 


A quarterback with his escapability and experience should be performing better in this area. These red flags indicate to me a quarterback that needs a “sit and learn” situation to best succeed. However, with Daniels projected to go in top 5 of the NFL draft, that opportunity is less likely to present itself.


Jayden Daniels’ frame and play style are best described in comparison to a mixture of Robert Griffin III and Jordan Love. 


Fantasy Potential 


Dynasty owners are excited about Daniels fantasy prospects as they should be. He possesses the coveted deep ball with legitimate dual threat ability that has long been the key to fantasy upside. 


Concerns about potential injury risk at the next level should be warranted. As laid out earlier, he takes unnecessary hits as a runner. Combine that with a small frame and NFL level punishment, one should take durability risk into their dynasty draft consideration. 


All in all it’s easy to see a potential path of a top 10 fantasy quarterback upside. Fingers crossed he isn’t taken by the Patriots with the 3rd pick in the draft. 


5. JJ McCarthy: The Developmental Prospect




JJ McCarthy brings above-average mobility and experience in a pro-style offense under Jim Harbaugh. However, his slightly above average physical attributes and raw processing skills highlight him as a developmental prospect.


 Despite playing in a run-heavy offense to hide his inefficiencies, McCarthy’s tendency to hold onto the ball, (128th ranked average time to throw), and average deep passing prowess (81st in Deep pass yards), raise questions about his ceiling. Most of McCarthy’s metrics are average to slightly above. Ranking 65th in turnover worthy rate, 77th in ADOT, and towards the bottom with a 17% pressure-to-sack rate. 


With proper development, he could become an average starter akin to a Daniel Jones type. For McCarthy the benefit of not being thrusted into the starting lineup right away could be critical.


Fantasy Potential 


J.J. McCarthy needs to land in the perfect situation and be viewed as a long-term investment for his optimal fantasy value. Without possessing an elite skill set in either passing or rushing ability, it will take great efficiency for fantasy relevancy. That can only be achieved with a great supporting cast and time to develop into a top tier processor. McCarthy should be considered no higher than a 2nd round rookie dynasty superflex selection. 


6. Bo Nix: The Experienced Game Manager




Bo Nix enters the draft with five years of starting experience but limited potential for growth. Despite his accuracy within short ranges, Nix lacks the arm strength (6.8 ADOT 167th) and pro-style experience necessary for sustained success. His history in screen-heavy offenses (1st in screen yards in 2023) may have inflated certain metrics, and he projects as a potential game manager or backup in the vein of Alex Smith.


Fantasy Potential 


Bo Nix has mobility but not dual ability. Too comfortable with the safe throw in lieu of even attempting an aggressive throw (4.1%, 111th in big time throw rate). There’s only one Brock Purdy in a perfect situation to be the exception to the rule. The rule that game managing quarterbacks without elite rushing ability can be significant fantasy contributors. Bo Nix will likely spend the majority of his career between QB20-25. 


Honorable Mentions


Outside the top six, the quarterback talent drops significantly. Spencer Rattler, Michael Pratt, and Joe Milton possess physical gifts but lack the refinement and consistency needed to succeed at the next level. While they may find roles as backups or developmental prospects, their potential as true starters remains in question.


In conclusion, the 2024 quarterback draft class offers a mix of talent, potential, and uncertainty. Each prospect brings unique strengths and weaknesses to the table, making for an exciting draft day as teams look to secure their future under center.

This article was written by Dan Mader @DanMaderFF. Come join Fantasy Football Network for more content and discussions like this.